Yesterday our beautiful daughter, Taylor, turned 15. I thought my childhood went by fast, but hers is going by so much faster. It seems like just yesterday she was a little over a year old, and I found her in the bedroom with the telephone (for those of you who don't know, telephones used to be connected to a wall with a long cord. Strange, I know.) She was babbling on and on and having a baby-language conversation with no one. I guess I used to really talk on the phone a lot, since that's the way she mimicked me. Now nobody talks on the phone. Everyone just texts. Progress.
We are embarking on a new and terrifying adventure with our daughter...learning to drive. Are you as scared as I am? I feel my hair turning gray as I type this. As I think back on my first days with a driver's license, I am embarrassed to say how bad I was at it. I would only drive in the left lane on the highway at the speed limit. I am left handed, so I felt more comfortable on the left side. Little did I know that I probably angered thousands of people in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex by being in the way in the fast lane. I now know the rules after many years of driving. But then, oh, I thought I was a rockstar. I had a little two-seat sportscar (big mistake for a teenager) that I (get ready to cringe) would cram as many people as I could into the hatchback and go cruising. (If you don't know what cruising is, ask your parents.) Taylor, I'm watching you. Don't do those things.
Anyway, this post isn't about my teenage escapades. It's about my daughter's 15th birthday. I must say, I am extremely blessed to have such an amazing daughter. She impresses me daily with her choices. She is determined in her schoolwork. She has worked at the same restaurant as me for the last year, and she has impressed me and others with her incredible work ethic.
When I asked her what cake she wanted for her birthday, she asked for a Lady Hummingbird cake. Now, this is yet another Southern thing (I do live in the South). It's a moist beautiful cake filled with pineapples, bananas, pecans and coconut. The cream cheese frosting is as sweet as my daughter. And, since she's becoming quite the young lady, nothing is more fitting than a Lady Hummingbird.
Grab a coconut and some pecans. Dessert is almost ready.
LADY HUMMINGBIRD CAKE
1 1/2 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 C vegetable oil
1 T cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 C flour
1 1/2 C crushed pineapple (don't drain)
1 C chopped pecans (plus more for garnish)
2 bananas, chopped
3/4 C shredded coconut (plus more for garnish)
1 C butter, softened
1 C shortening
One 8-ounce package of cream cheese
2 lb bag of powdered sugar
2-5 T milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans. In a mixer, cream together both sugars and eggs. Add in oil and mix. Add in the cinnamon, flour, baking soda and pineapple and mix to combine. Stir in the 1 C pecans, coconut, and the bananas. Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
To assemble the cake, slice each of the two cakes in half longways to create four layers. Mix the butter, shortening and cream cheese in a mixer. Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Add in enough milk slowly until the frosting is soft but spreadable. Spread frosting over one layer of cake, top with another layer, and repeat until the last layer is down. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Spread pecans around the sides of the cake and remaining coconut over the top of the cake.